01 October, 2010

Ten, Ten, Ten

When my brother Gerard was little, and learning to count, he and my dad would slowly count together. One to five would be drawn out and slow, six and seven even-paced, but right about eight, and certainly after nine, they would make a sudden race for ten, and together they would nearly shout "Ten! Ten! Ten!"

and that is just how I am feeling as this day rolls around, and my first child, the boy who made me a mother is ten. Ten. Ten!

It's cliche to say it all goes by too fast, and in our case I don't think it's always true. Some days, even a year can fly by, but other moments are so weighted with importance, or joy, they seem to be almost outside of space and time.

He went on his first road trip when he was three weeks old, to go to my cousin's wedding. He slept on a wing chair, wrapped up like a little burrito.

He is getting tall these days, taller than his dad was at that age I think, and though he has puppy feet, nearly too big for his body, his movements are smoother as he gains more control, and more awareness of his limbs. 

He ate an entire papaya and chicken quesadilla at the Mai Tai bar in Oahu when he was only ten months old. Later that year, the chef came out to see the baby who was eating the wasabi mashed potatoes at the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

He has a great sense of humor, and a laugh that is infectious. My favorite is when he giggles so hard that he has to take a big breath. He stands still to let his little sister tickle him, and will come over to the couch for a family tickle match.

The first time he held his own cup and took a drink, we were at an Indian food restaurant and he was more than two years old. 

He moves so quickly it's hard to believe doctors thought he'd never walk, and he loves to test adults by pretending to meander before he breaks into a full run towards any exit that has been left open.

He took his first steps across our living room while he was yelling something at us. We couldn't understand him and he was so frustrated he got distracted and walked seven steps. 

He likes to be outdoors. I think he would be happiest on 40 acres; a place with a grove of shimmering trees, and a small brook with pebbles lining its banks. His love of nature inspired our AdventureVan purchase, and his love of the AdventureVan inspired our cross country journey this summer. He is a road-trip, roadside diner, let's-just-pull-over-here-for-the-night type of kid; his flexibility amazes me.

He went to sleep-away camp for the first time the summer he was five. As we drove away and watched as he ran off smiling and laughing down a leaf strewn hill forcing his counselor to chase him. 

He's showing an interest in technology, gently touching the screens at home on devices, and using the mouse at school to get through stories he likes on the computer. I love the sibling dynamic as he tries to grab the iPad or iPod from his sister and laughs as she shrieks to keep her hold.

He got into the car by himself last week, no physical prompts at all, and when we went home he went in through the gate without holding hands, and without running away.

He is affectionate, and more and more often he leans in to show his desire to be near you. His wordless gestures teach me that my body language, my movements, the spirit I carry through my home is often more influential than my words.

He got out of bed when I passed by his room tonight. He gently touched my arm before he turned and ran back to his bed. He buried himself in the pillows laughing.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.
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